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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/20/2000

Cruise Season Closing with a Bang

Charleston, SC - Between now and the end of the month, seven cruise ships will dock in Charleston, capping a record-setting year for the Ports Authority's Passenger Terminal.

In addition to the many "port-of-call" visits, where ships stop for passengers to tour the city, the Ports Authority attracted a number of embarkations, where cruises actually leave from Charleston. The Bahamas, Bermuda and the Panama Canal are all destinations for cruises leaving from the Port of Charleston in 2000. The biggest boost this year came from Carnival Cruise Lines, which offered four cruises from Charleston.

It looks to be a record year for cruising from the Ports Authority's Passenger Terminal. In 2000, nine different cruise lines will send ships to Charleston. Recognized companies including Cunard, Carnival, Princess, Premier, Silverseas and Seabourn are offering both cruises leaving from Charleston, as well as stops in the Holy City.

There are more than two dozen cruise ship visits planned for this year, a strong sign after a record-breaking 1999 when 29,144 people on 30 vessels sailed from Charleston. Port and tourism officials are also encouraged by progress on efforts to loosen regulatory restrictions that have stymied Charleston's cruise business.

Local officials have been working together for several years to build the Port of Charleston's cruise calendar, and their efforts are paying off. Charleston's Port, tourism and airport officials travel to Miami every year, touting Charleston as an ideal cruise destination for the industry.

The coordinated effort proves to decision-makers in the cruise industry just how dedicated our community is to making their business in Charleston a success.

But it does not stop with the luring of new cruise business. On the landside, the first people to greet passengers when they arrive are representatives of the CVB.

The Passenger Terminal's location in the heart of one of the region's most popular and most visited cities certainly helps. Passengers are within walking distance of shopping, fine dining and entertainment. This proximity is a significant attraction to cruise operators.

In addition, the Ports Authority recently made improvements to the Passenger Terminal including new carpeting, interior and exterior work and a new heating and cooling system.